Botswana is home to an abundance of animals, including lions, elephants, and hippos. In this post, I will give you some tips on how to prepare for your Botswana safari. We will also discuss some of the best places to visit in Botswana.
What to Expect on a Safari in Botswana
When planning your Botswana safari, it is important to keep in mind that the country can’t afford to invest much in its infrastructure, meaning there are not many roads or other types of public facilities you may be used to. Botswana is also a very dry country, so you should be prepared for dusty conditions.
There are a few things you can do to prepare for your Botswana safari:
– Research the best time of year to visit Botswana. The dry season (from May to October) is the best time to see wildlife, as animals congregate around water sources.
– Pack light, comfortable clothing that can be layered. Botswana can be hot during the day, but it can get cold at night.
– Bring a hat, sunscreen, and insect repellent.
– Be prepared for long drives. Botswana is a large country with few roads. You will likely spend a lot of time in the car on your safari.
Some of the Best Places to Visit in Botswana
Botswana is home to some of the best wildlife viewing in Africa. The area is vast and there are dozens of locations you can consider for your trekking days. That being said, here are a few places you should consider visiting on your Botswana safari:
The Okavango Delta
The Okavango Delta is a vast inland delta in northern Botswana. The delta is formed where the Okavango River flows into the Kalahari Desert. The river flows from the Angolan highlands, through the Kalahari Basin, and finally into the delta. The delta covers an area of 15,000 square mi (24140 km) and is home to a diverse array of wildlife, including lions, elephants, giraffes, and hippos.
Okavango Delta from somewhere above
The Okavango Delta is one of the largest inland deltas in the world and is a major tourist destination. The delta is also an important source of water for Botswana’s people and economy. The Okavango Delta is a unique and essential ecosystem that provides vital resources for both people and wildlife.
Chobe National Park
The largest national park in Botswana is known as one of the most popular tourist destinations in Botswana. The park is home to a variety of wildlife, including elephants, lions, and buffalo. Visitors can take safari tours to see the animals up close or go on hiking and camping trips to explore the wilderness.
What appears to be a family from Chobe National Park
Moremi Game Reserve
Moremi Game Reserve is a nature reserve located in the Okavango Delta. The reserve was established in 1963 and is home to a wide variety of wildlife, including lions, leopards, elephants, hippos, and wild dogs. Moremi Game Reserve is also known for its diverse birdlife, with over 550 species having been recorded in the reserve.
Somewhere in Moremi Game Reserve
Kwando and Linyanti Area
Kwando and Linyanti are two rivers. Many people come to this area to see the abundant wildlife. The open grasslands are dominated by zebra, giraffe, and wildebeest while the forests are largely populated with roan antelope and eland.
A group of impala ( a type of medium-sized antelopes) from the Linyanti area
The Kalahari Desert is a huge expanse of land that spans over two million square miles and covers parts of Botswana, Namibia, and South Africa. Despite its arid appearance, the Kalahari is home to a variety of plant and animal life.
Makgadikgadi Pans is a large salt pan located in the Kalahari Desert. The Makgadikgadi Pans covers an area of approximately 3860 square mi )10,000 square km). The Makgadikgadi Pans is one of the largest salt flats in the world. Makgadikgadi means “a great dry place” in the local Setswana language. This land was once part of a huge inland sea that covered most of Southern Africa. Over time, the climate changed and the land dried up, leaving behind the Makgadikgadi Pans.
Makgadikgadi Pans looks cool
Here are some of the animals you might see on your Botswana safari:
– Elephants: Botswana is home to the largest population of elephants in Africa. You will likely see elephants on your safari.
Lions: Botswana is also home to a large population of lions.
– Hippos: The country is home to the largest population of hippos in Africa.
Things to Take with You
– Insect repellent
– Comfortable, light-weight clothing
– Good walking shoes
– A camera!
If you want to know more about how to dress for an African safari, feel free to check this post.
Tips for Photographing Wildlife
If you’re planning on taking photographs of the wildlife on your Botswana safari, don’t forget that you are in the animals’ natural habitat. Do not approach them too closely or make too much noise.
My other tip is to use a telephoto lens. This will help you get close-up shots without disturbing the animals.
How to Get to Botswana
Botswana is a landlocked country in the southern part of Africa. To get to Botswana, you’ll need to take a flight to one of its neighboring countries and then travel by land. The two closest airports are in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe. From Johannesburg, you can take a direct flight to Botswana’s capital city, Gaborone. If you’re flying into Victoria Falls, you can get to Botswana by taking a bus or renting a car and driving across the border.
You Can Start Your Botswana Safari from Maun or Kasane
Maun is the fifth largest town in Botswana with a population of 55,784 people. It is situated on the southern edge of the Okavango Delta in north-western Botswana and is the district capital of the North-West District. Maun is an important tourist gateway to the Okavango Delta and Moremi Game Reserve. The name Maun is derived from the Setswana word for “thatch”, referring to the traditional homes made by the local people. Maun is also sometimes referred to as “the gateway to the Okavango Delta” or “the end of the road”. Despite its remote location, Maun has a wide range of accommodation and activities on offer, making it an ideal base for exploring the surrounding area.
Kasane is a town in Botswana located at the confluence of the Chobe and Zambezi Rivers. It is considered the gateway to Chobe National Park, one of Africa’s premier wildlife sanctuaries. Kasane is a relatively small town, but it is growing rapidly as tourism to Chobe National Park increases. The town has a number of hotels and lodges catering to tourists, as well as several shops and restaurants. Kasane is also home to a small airport, making it easy to get to from major cities such as Johannesburg and Victoria Falls. With its convenient location and abundance of tourist amenities, Kasane is an ideal base for exploring the incredible diversity of life in Chobe National Park.
Other Botswana Facts You Might Want to Know
Language: There are over 20 dialects spoken in the country and English is the official business language
Currency: The currency in Botswana is called Pula. 1 USD is worth about 11 Pula. You will often be able to pay in dollars, euros, and British pounds at some hotels. With the exception of some petrol stations, foreign bank cards such as Visa and Mastercard are wherever there is the possibility of using a credit card.
Safety: Botswana is considered to be one of the safest countries in Africa. Note that this does not mean you should take long walks at night in search of a lion to pet.
Lodging: There are so so many options, and selecting one over the other depends on the locations you want to explore and your preferences. You could, for instance, stay in a basic camp or go for glamping and book a place at the famous Jack’s Camp. Before deciding on one option or the other, it’s probably best to know for sure what part of the country you are going to explore.
As it’s always the case with guided tours, make sure to select a safari company that has a good tracking record (check for reviews). They may be able to advise you on the best places to visit and what to expect on your safari. To find a guided safari tour in Botswana, go here.
As you might suspect, there are many tours and activities available. One thing that it’s unique to the area is the mokoro canoe safari, which translates into exploring the waterways on a traditional wooden canoe. If this is something that interests you, feel free to check for such tours here.
Perhaps Not the Place You Want to Explore Only Once
Botswana safari is a must-do for any nature lover. Almost half of the country consists of national parks and reserves, making it one of the best places in Africa to see wildlife in its natural habitat. The Okavango Delta, in particular, is a cool place to see Botswana’s abundant bird and animal life.
During a Botswana safari, you can expect to see elephants, lions, giraffes, and more. You may also see a leopard or cheetah. While a Botswana safari is argubly an unforgettable experience, I suspect many of you will want to return after the first visit.